As a huge tennis fan I couldn't pass up the opportunity to create a submission for Wimbledon's poster call 2016. I have no idea how the entries will be valued, if the 'likes' will be a factor or not (check out my entry here, I believe you do need a talenthouse account to 'like' however)... Regardless, I am super-pleased with the outcome. It's hanging on my office wall and that's a win-win already, #designerperks I suppose.
I worked up a few other concepts before choosing this direction but was late to the party, only seeing the call on their FB page late last week. So with finals, grading and a bunch of other things to accomplish, I am glad that I completed and submitted at least one design for the heck of it. (I hope to do a blog post at some point about thumbnailing and idea generation process, crowdsourcing, and design tips, stay tuned.)
A note on the maze: it's functioning, not decorative. I specifically designed it so it would be a viewer experience, carefully crafting only one path to 'greatness'. However, in my haste to submit I posted one earlier version to the talenthouse page with one blocked path; below is the correct version. The call states that the winner(s) could slightly modify the final submission if chosen, and obviously that would be my one tiny edit of course it is a worldwide call, so there's a good chance the only place you'll see it is here.
Overall, I believe the design would make a memorable poster keepsake for Wimbledon. Its modern, elevated aesthetic embodies exactly what this iconic tournament is, plus it's highly conceptual, what better way to graphically interpret 'pursuing greatness' by with the maze experience. Not to mention a possible boost in sales, purchase multiples, one to keep and one to complete. I also have many additional ideas on other iconic tournament elements that could be maze-ivied, an entire series of poster and marketing elements to brand using this design. I'm excited about the possibility and remain cautiously optimistic. I know I'm getting way ahead of myself, but a woman can dream, right?... I don't envy those who must decide. Even if you don't have a Talenthouse account to 'like', make sure you click on the call link to view the entries from around the globe - some really awesome stuff!
Game, set, match - enjoy!
(c) Christina Galbiati, 2016. All rights reserved.
It’s Friday night; you are out with your friends ready to enjoy a cold beer to cap off your long week. Do you choose that locally made IPA? Or perhaps smooth Stout? Maybe you settle for a longstanding national beer, the one your grandfather has been drinking for 50 years?
Nowadays, it’s not unheard of to go to your local pub, beer or grocery store to find a plethora of craft beers alongside major beer brands. The competition amongst breweries is fierce. Craft breweries are trying to cut into the market share that national breweries hold. In order to accomplish this, much time and attention to detail is devoted to the brewing process as well as the creation of the marketing and branding material – all initiatives must perfectly align in order to become established in the marketplace.
Conyngham Brewing Company (CBC) is a local brewery in northeastern Pennsylvania launching their first brew next week. Last year I met with the owner discussing his design goals for this new brand; how he wanted the identity and packaging to reflect the innovative and full-flavored line of beers he is creating, as well as his family heritage and the history of the quaint little town of Conyngham,.
With his comments in mind, I went to work, using this 4-step checklist of design initiatives to prepare several options:
Font: It was important to my client to incorporate an Old English-style font. The history surrounding a font of this nature is reflective of the calligraphic hands that were used pre-industrial revolution. This type of font is ornate, and if not utilized correctly, can be hard to read. In order to juxtapose the characteristics of the main font, I chose a simpler secondary font – together they complement the historic aesthetic CBC wants to convey. When you are working with your client make sure to show them how other fonts could work in concert with one another. Doing history and research, as well as talking with your client, will help you get off on the right foot to nail down font options.
Color Palette: In order to balance the ornate characteristics of the font, I introduced a bold, bright color palette, yellow, gray and black, which were also inspired by his family coat-of-arms. I also proposed a version with a muted color palette, but the font was getting lost, the overall identity was not strong enough to stand out. Also, by using tints and shades of the two main colors, yellow and black, helps to maintain brand consistency while still effectively creating depth and interest to the overall design. Keep in mind a balance that must be achieved in your overall design. Colors are just as important as font choice.
Art/Illustration: I applied the historic / modern concept to the main artwork, balancing out the ornate font by using bold diagonal lines and simple line art. Anything too detailed would compete with the font. The main art element (shield) is inspired by the family coat-of-arms concept, and is simple and bold as well. Overall, the artwork and fonts are working together, reading as one unit, instead of one overpowering another.
Grid Design: The first tap handle/label, Kolsch beer, is designed with all elements from the main company logo. Other labels will be designed using this grid template, changing colors in specific areas of the label to identify the type of beer. Because a grid has been established from the onset of this project, the brand could grow unencumbered. There is a method in place to continue to create a consistent visual identity, again reinforcing brand consistency.
The end result is a logo that is a balance of historical and modern design elements; it has the look and feel of traditional craft brewery designs, and is still visually powerful alongside national brands.
So now you have a plan of action to follow with the 4 design initiatives I mentioned above. But what about working with the client? Where do they fit in? How do you foster a great relationship while staying true to your design goals?
You’re working with an established set of parameters that your client needs to achieve. By listening to your client you are also saving time money, and essentially weeding out several design options you may have proposed if you didn’t listen to their concerns. If the trade off is making sure you use a font or art element they are envisioning, compromise. For example, with the CBC logo, I could have proposed an entirely different font style, but in the end if the client isn’t feeling it, then you aren’t doing what you are hired to do. Listen to their concerns and suggestions, and then use your expert skills to make them better.
You spend hours boiling down their company goals into several design options, but how did you get there? Designers are great visual communicators, but unless you could provide a synopsis, a few reasons behind your design decisions, you are missing an opportunity to show them that you are truly listening to them. Also, a client may not immediately ‘see’ what you are presenting, so sometimes you need to talk them through your decisions. Sure you are hired to provide a service, but you are also trying to build a relationship. The more you know about them, the more likely you are to meet their expectations. Perhaps you’ll be the go-to firm for other projects, all because you created an open line of communication, and built a solid relationship.
A client may not be thinking about their design goals five, or even ten years from now, especially start-up companies. But it is your job to ensure this logo, or any design project, will hold up over time in order to not recreate the wheel a few years down the road. The fact you were proactive shows the client you are invested in the project for the long-haul. You want to be the keeper of the brand, so do what you can to show the client you are thinking ahead, creating what is best for their company on a whole, not just the current project.
Cheers! – CG
Conyngham Brewing Company is holding a tasting event for their Kolsch beer at Cuz-n-Joe's, Thursday, August 1st, 6pm.
Stop by and sample some of this amazing beer. For more information click here to view CBC’s FB page.
On press, the 2012 Trexler Trust Annual Report....below, some spreads from this year's report. I have had the honor of designing the report the last several years, and each year we highlight the initiatives of some of the grantees. This year's theme focused on change, featuring historic photos of some of the prominent grantees and the results of the money distributed to their organizations.
The Trexler Trust or is a philanthropic effort of General Trexler, "who died in 1933 leaving a residuary estate of approximately ten million dollars. His will directed that the residue should be help upon a perpetual trust, the income from which would benefit his wife during her lifetime and the citizens of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania after her death. At present, the value of the Trust's assets is approximately $100 million dollars. During the 75+ years of its operation, the Trust has aided the work of Lehigh County charities by providing them with over $100 million in funding including nearly $35 million to the City of Allentown for the 'improvement, extension and maintenance of all its parks.' General Trexler's generosity toward the citizens of Allentown and Lehigh County continues through his Trust."
Shown below is my handmade paper collage illustration shown at the "Art Takes Times Square" show in NYC on June 18th. Much thanks to Michelle Hunter, (http://twitter.com/artcoholic) for taking the picture. (Direct link to her photos: http://a.yfrog.com/img861/8692/dppf.jpg)
Show below is the full image, a 12" x 12" paper collage; subject/inspiration for the piece was Monotype Imaging, s global font company. They provide "text imaging and graphical user interface solutions to consumer electronics devices." They also offer "font solutions to independent software vendors who develop applications and operating systems."
Since they specialize in all things type, I decided to create a custom handmade illustration using their name, and also using as inspiration for the main type/image, the individual metal type characters that were used to set type on old-school letterpress printing machines (Vandercook/Linotype, etc).
The background pattern was created via the xerography process; using their name in 11pt Goudy Type, and repeatedly copied using a photocopy machine. (Materials used: French Paper, Grape Jelly and Razzle Berry (28/70lb text), French Paper Construction, Steel Blue (28/70lb text), solid black toner ink.)
The result is a handmade paper collage illustration, which symbolizes the importance of tangible print media/type communication in today's digital dependent society.
(Original artwork is available for purchase; email: firstname.lastname@example.org with subject of email "Monotype" for pricing.)
Essence Fine Arts and Literary Magazine is a collaborative effort of Kutztown University students who share and express personal feelings, philosophies, and views through the artistic media of photography, illustration, life drawing, painting, fine metals, sculpture, crafts, poetry and short stories. The works contained within (this publication) are considered, by the Essence staff members, to be some fine examples of creative art and literary expression of Kutztown students.
In its 19th year, I was honored to partake in this legacy, and become faculty design advisor for this 2012 issue. The project begins in the fall when the literary staff puts a call out for submissions; the design staff follows suit in the spring, seeking fine art submissions. After jurying, the design staff gets to work; creating a layout that supports their concept, while successfully integrating all of the art and literary works accepted.
The result is a beautifully designed, 32-page publication; 3000 copies are printed and distributed throughout campus and the downtown area. Capping off the two-semester effort, is the finale, a launch party at Eckhaus Gallery.
Designers Rachel Hickey and Jenn Haskins crafted a statement that summarized their inspiration for this year's design: "The word. Essence as light captures the definition of essence as, the intrinsic nature or indispensable quality of something, especially something abstract, that determines its character. Light is the root of how we see, how we interpret, how we discover and most importantly how we experience life. The background photography is heavily influenced by the photographer Uta Barth. As our inspiration developed, we hoped to capture various environments that surround us by transforming them from the recognizable to the mere essence of the space."
I would like to take the time to acknowledge the hardworking 2012 staff: Senior Designers: Jenn Haskins, and Rachel Hickey for their wonderful concept and beautiful design; Co-Editor's: Philip Baily and Kyle Yadlosky; Secretary: Caitlin Romascavage; Treasurer and Junior Designer: Lenny Marchica; as well as Literary Advisor: Dr. Tony Bleach; and Professor Kate Clair ( on sabbatical this semester, her role as design advisor for the past 18 years has made this organization a success).
The Essence staff expresses appreciation to all its contributors and readers for sharing in this student publication.
We invite everyone to attend the launch party at Eckhaus Gallery, 157 Main Street, Kutztown, tonight from 7-9pm.
(above) poster design for launch party, designer: Lenny Marchica
(below) cover and interior spreads from the 32-page publication, designers: Jenn Haskins, Rachel Hickey
(left) Jason Rowles: Memorial Chamber, Pricetown, Pa. 2011, Oil; Amy Patt: "What Occupies My Dreams"
(right) Gillian Beck: Tacazze Sunbird, Watercolor; Olive Pegler: "When A Hearts Of No Use"
(below, left) Jacob McCauley, Nowhere In Kutztown; Katie Marrone, "The Box"
(below, right) Diana Balderson: Is That George Washington or Is It Your Grandmother?, Oil; Amanda Glenlast: "Not So Hopeless After All"
(below, left) Daniel Warnander: Untitled, Intaglio Etching; Devin Shingle: "Sunday"; (right) Amanda Quevedo, Identity, Photograph
(below, left) Daniel Green: Conflict, Linocut; Janna Adams: "The Trend"
(below, right) Katie Hosler: Reclining Nude, Acrylic & Oil; Caitlin Romascavage:"Exhale"
As of 8/2016, this site is dedicated solely to graphic design.
For Christina Galbiati’s art/Illustration site click here.